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Friday, May 10 2013

This morning, I read this very informative article from Gary Barg/Editor-in-Chief at Today's Caregiver Magagine.  Great ideas for caregivers!!!  Happy Mothers Day Weekend to all of you Moms out there!!

Top Ten Things a Caregiver Needs
from a Health Care Provider

1. Attention: The caregiver's loved one may be the 27th similar case you've seen today; but to the caregiver, this is Mom or Dad, Sister or Lover.

2. Compassion: Be diligent in its application.

3. Time: A few moments of your undivided time is some of the strongest medicine you'll ever administer—and it costs so very little.

4. Respect: The person pushing the wheelchair is also part-time bookkeeper, psychologist, dietitian, insurance and incontinence expert, and a full-time general in the war they are waging with this illness. They not only need your respect, they DESERVE it.

5. Dedication: Be relentless in your devotion to your craft. The caregiver has entrusted you with their most valuable asset—their loved one. You earn that trust with your skill, knowledge base and ability.

6. Honesty: The caregiver is your partner in this endeavor; they deserve (and can handle) the truth.

7. Prudence: The graceful administration of the truth is a true test of a caring professional.

8. Advocacy: Never accept less than the best your system has to offer their 
loved one.

9. Understanding: The caregiver plays a pivotal role in the well-being of your patient; understanding the needs, wishes and fears of the caregiver improves your patient's care.

10. Your well-being: Know your emotional limit and learn when to ask for help. Your loved ones as well as the caregiver's loved one need you to remain well.

  Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine
Friday May 10, 2013


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Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 09:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 09 2013

(I wanted to share this great article!!  Yeah, to the Doctors!!!). I am sure we all have had an encounter with the high costs of drugs that we or a loved one needed to take.


Cancer Doctors Protest 'Astronomical' Drug Costs

With some new, potentially lifesaving cancer drugs costing up to $138,000 a year, about 120 leading cancer specialists have joined forces in an unusual protest aimed at getting pharmaceutical companies to cut prices.

Charging high prices for drugs cancer patients need to survive is like “profiteering” from a natural disaster by jacking up prices for food and other necessities, leading cancer doctors and researchers from around the world contend in a new paper published in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Of 12 new cancer drugs that received FDA approval last year, 11 of them cost in excess of $100,000 a year—prices that the specialists attack as “astronomical,” “unsustainable,” and maybe even immoral. What’s more, only three of these drugs were found to improve patient survival rates and of these, two only increased it by less than two months, according to the Washington Post.

“Advocating for lower drug prices is a necessity to save the lives of patients,” say the specialists who wrote the paper, who specialize in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), but emphasize that sky-high drug costs affect patients with many types of cancer.

9 Tips to Prevent Prostate Cancer

Going Bankrupt to Stay Alive

“Medical illness and drug prices are the single most frequent cause of personal bankruptcy” in the US, according to the specialists, where patients’ copayments on drug prices average 20 percent of the total cost of the drug. That means that cancer patients often face having to shell out $20,000 to $30,000 a year, simply to stay alive.

The specialists also note that astronomical drug prices may be the single most common reason why patients stop taking lifesaving drugs. This is particularly true for those with CML, which requires daily treatment for long-term survival.

As a result the paper says, “grateful patients may have become the ‘financial victims’ of the treatment success, having to pay the high price annually to stay alive.” One study found that 10 percent of cancer patients fail to fill new prescriptions for oral cancer drugs.

For some patients, such as breast cancer survivor Patti Tyree, medical costs—not the disease—are stealing their future. The 57-year-old postal worker inherited $25,000, but after just one round of treatment for breast cancer, nearly half of the money is goneand bills continue to pour in, she told USA Today.

One of the more expensive therapies for CML is Gleevec, a cancer drug that generated $4.7 billion in sales last year, making it the bestselling drug for its manufacturer, Novartis. Another Novartis leukemia drug, Tasigna, had sales of $1 billion, according to The New York Times.

Doctors Pressure Drug Companies to Slash Prices

Some of the specialists who joined the protest were inspired by the doctors from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) who refused to use a new colon cancer drug called Zaltrap because it cost more than twice as much ($11,063 on average for one month of treatment) as another drug (Avastin) without improving outcomes.

“Soaring spending has presented the medical community with a new obligation. When choosing treatments for a patient, we have to consider the financial strains they may cause alongside the benefits they might deliver,” the MSKCC doctors wrote in an October, 2012 op-ed for The New York Times about their boycott.

Subsequently, the drug’s manufacturer slashed the price by 50 percent.

Cancer and Your Diet: Making the Right Choices

Cancer Drugs Rank Among the World’s Most Expensive

The idea that "one cannot put a price on a human life” has led to wildly overblown healthcare costs in the U.S., estimated at $2.7 trillion in 2011, according to the paper’s authors, who urge insurers and government to more aggressively negotiate with pharmaceutical companies.

Many reports show that cancer drugs consistently rank as the most expensive therapies, even though some only extend life by a few months or offer no benefit over older, less expensive drugs.

The paper discussed Gleevec, which was originally priced at about $30,000 a year when it was approved in 2001. Since then, the price has tripled. However, its manufacturer told The New York Times that relatively few patients actually pay the full cost—and that the price reflects the high cost of developing new medications, which reportedly exceeds $1 billion.

Yet even doctors involved with developing Gleevec, such as Dr. Brian Druker, are criticizing Novartis, which raked in $4.7 billion in sales for the drug in 2012.

“If you are making $3 billion a year on Gleevec, could you get by with $2 billion?” Dr. Druker, now director of Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University, said in an interview with The New York Times. “When do you cross the line from essential profits to profiteering?”

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Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 01:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 07 2013
Baby Boomer and Senior Support would like to introduce you to the MED-READY (Personal Medication System).  MED-READY is a reminder system that automatically dispenses medication and vitamin supplements in accordance with your prescribed treatment program.  It is a practical, low-cost solution that helps you get the right dose of medication at the right time.  By properly adhering to your doctor's recommended medication regimen patients are able to stay healthy, safe & possibly remaining in their own homes longer.

MED-READY is easy to use:  Simply load your appropriate dosage into  the 28 tray slot & set the clock.  Close the lid and lock (you can program the clock for one to four times a day).
Right dose, Right dose.  Right time!!

Medication Management is a growing and costly problem for seniors & at-risk individuals.
Visit our website at for more details .

Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 04:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 07 2013
May is National Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month

Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones.  It happens when you lose to much bone, make too much bone, or both.  As a result, bones become weak & can break from a fall or, from a simple action, like sneezing.

About 10 million Americans have osteoporosis. Estimates suggest that half of all women older than 50, and up to 1 in 4 men, will break a bone because of osteoporosis. 

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease"; because you could have it or be at risk without even knowing it.  I encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about the disease!
Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 03:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 07 2013

Lotsa Helping Hands Caregiving Support & Volunteer Blog

GreatCall – Technology to Help Your Aging Loved One

Here at Lotsa, we often come across companies who also support and understand the needs of caregivers. When we find products and services that would be of use to our members, we want to share them with you. This guest post (and special Mother’s Day offer) comes from GreatCall, a company that has set out to make cell phones easy to use for aging loved ones.

You show your mom love and appreciation all year long, but she deserves a day that is dedicated to honoring all that she is.  Every May, Mother’s Day give us an opportunity to honor our mothers and let them know how much they mean to us.

Finding the right gift for mom can be tricky.  This Mother’s Day let your gift be something that she will truly use. GreatCall, the company that has set the standard for easy-to-use cell phones, has special a Mother’s Day offer for Lotsa members to make getting a cell phone for your mom even easier.

In today’s digital and wireless world, having a cell phone has become a necessity and a way of life.  Offering safety, convenience, and peace-of-mind, a cell phone is the number one tool of the modern world.

The Easy-to-Use Cell Phone

Cell phones today tend to be complicated, have tiny buttons, and are not intuitive – making them intimidating to many aging consumers and those with limited technical experience.  To help make cell phones accessible to everyone, GreatCall offers the Jitterbug Plus, a simple and easy-to-use cell phone.  Featuring large buttons, an enhanced speaker, a large display screen, built-in camera, and clear navigation, the Jitterbug Plus is the perfect Mother’s Day gift for your mom.

Smartphone Made Easy

For the more technical adapt parent, GreatCall offers a simplified smartphone, the Jitterbug Touch.  Combining the power of a smartphone with traditional Jitterbug ease-of-use the Jitterbug Touch features a large LCD touch screen, apps capability, an enhanced speaker, a slide out QWERTY keyboard, and a built-in camera.  Give your mom a smartphone that she will actually want to use.

Mother’s Day Special Offers for Lotsa Members

Visit for GreatCall’s Mother’s Day specials. Save $20 on the Jitterbug Plus or Jitterbug Touch as well as receiving a free car charger.  With GreatCall, shipping is always free, and for an additional $5 we will package your mom’s new phone in a beautiful decorative box.

This Mother’s Day give your mom a cell phone she will love to use!

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Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 12:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 06 2013
Get started today!!  Baby Boomer and Senior Support Services announces the WellCard Discount Card program.  This FREE card provides users discounts on prescription drugs, dental, vision, physician services and more.  Everyone in the family can use the WellCard, regardless of age, income or health status.

The WellCard can be used at over 58,000 pharmacies and with 410,000 physicians nationwide.  This is NO membership fee, usage limits or card expiration date.

To enroll in the program, go to  To get started, use the
Group ID#  BBSSServes

The WellCard Savings discount card is an easy way to help you and your family with prescriptions and many health care service needs.

                          Please note this plan is not insurance.   
Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 06:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, May 03 2013

Measuring Customer Satisfaction as a Powerful Culture Change Tool

by Laura Beck, The Eden Alternative

Ever wonder if gauging customer satisfaction is really worth the time and effort?

Jill Vitale-Aussem, Executive Director of Clermont Park in Denver, Colorado, had become accustomed to the same experience of satisfaction surveys in every organization she had worked for previously.

“We would survey all of the residents and their families once a year, and then a few months later, we’d get this giant report of reams of paper with numbers and comments. It was just way too much information to digest or properly follow up on,” shares Vitale-Aussem.

Like so many organizations working with unwieldy survey results, Clermont Park ended up overwhelmed by it all and sticking the report on a shelf until next year.  They needed a survey solution that could be woven into daily operations and have a real impact on their organizational culture.

While working with a partner organization, Clermont-Park discovered Pinnacle Quality Insight, an Eden Alternative Value-Added Partner.  Specializing in customer satisfaction measurement for Elder care providers, Pinnacle provided user-friendly, substantive reports that really shifted the organization’s perspective on surveys.

“We have them call a random 5% sample of residents/families and employees each month, and we get monthly reports of monthly scores, year-to-date scores, and interview comments,” says Vitale-Aussem, “It’s a manageable number of responses, and we follow up immediately with the resident, family member, or staff member to gain clarity on any comments or scores that are concerning to us.”

By helping organizations more effectively evaluate how they meet the individual needs of the people who live and work there, services like Pinnacle's support the design of individualized care plans and develop a work environment that helps employees thrive.

Vitale Aussem adds, “We also get to celebrate the great comments and scores on a regular basis.  It’s just become a part of daily operations, rather than a big yearly project that everyone dreads.  We really look forward to getting those monthly reports!”

Consider asking these questions in your teams:

  • What means do we use to assess satisfaction for all members of our various care partner teams?
  • What means do we use to apply what we've learned?
  • How do we use this information to inspire our teams and engage each other about how to grow from here?

Check out this free webinar event on May 14th  to learn how thoughtful assessment of customer satisfaction can enhance the development of individualized care plans and team growth and responsiveness.

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Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 12:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 02 2013
The cures we want aren't going to fall from the sky.  We have to get ladders and climb up and get them.   Michael J. Fox

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's disease. 

There is no cure for Parkinson's disease today; but the Michael J. Fox Foundation is working urgently to change  that.  Learn more about Parkinson's disease at www.Michael J.
(I have visited this site many times and have found some great information on Parkinson's).
Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 08:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 02 2013
Maturity is a website that I often refer to (they have valuable information for the baby boomer and senior population).  Today I read this great article about palliative care (palliative care focuses on improving and relieving the pain and suffering of a patient dealing with serious and chronic illnesses).  Check it out: 
Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 11:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 01 2013
Most of us do our best to lower our cancer risks by altering our lifestyles in accordance with medical recommendations.  According to the American Cancer Society, there is no known way to protect against most brain tumors at this time. 

"Currently, there are no widely recommended tests used to screen for brain tumors", says Steven Lester, MD of Central Florida Cancer Care Center.  "Most brain tumors are discovered when patients see their doctor because of signs or symptoms they are having."

Symptoms such as nausea, seizures, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, personality or behavior changes, balance problems, drowsiness, or even coma could indicate a serious problem and should be brought to the attention of your physician.  It is important to have regular check-ups so that if a new symptom arises, there is a baseline to relate to.  It is also equally important to openly communicate with your doctor about how you are feeling.

I went to my doctor today..When did see last see your physician?  If you are past due, call today and make an appointment.
Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 07:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 01 2013

Baby Boomers and Hearing                                       ~DR. MARY MADDOCK AU.D.~


 Baby boomers have worked hard to stay young. They are more proactive in many aspects of their health. They place a high importance on remaining active and healthy. What about their hearing? We know that baby boomers grew up with loud music - Woodstock,  concerts, Disco, Walkman’s, aerobics, Metallica and more. The facts are that 16% of Baby Boomers already experience hearing loss. That is 10 million age 45 to 64 years have a hearing loss while 29% of those over the age of 65 experience hearing loss. 1 out of 12 thirty year olds already have hearing loss.            


 When is the right time to find out about your hearing? What should you expect? Ifyoufeelthatpeopleare mumbling or that you are having difficulty understanding others it is time to have a complete hearing test. Generally  a baseline in hearing should be established between the ages of 50 and 55.                                       


How do you go about getting your hearing tested? There is more to a hearing test than raising your hand for a group of beeps. While that portion  of the test is important it does not tell the whole story. Think about it! What is more important - how you hear the beeps or how you understand  the words and conversations. If the hearing test you are given does not address your ability to understand speech and conversation then you have not been given a complete hearing test.            


After the hearing test is complete you should be armed with the following information:                                    


 1. Degree of your hearing loss: normal, mild, moderate, moderate severe,  severeorprofound. Apercentage  of hearing loss is ¬NOT what you need to know.            


 2. Type of hearing loss: normal, conductive, nerve, central                                      


3. Word understanding score in quiet at a normal conversational speech level and at a level that is easy for you to “hear” the speech.                                      


4. Your speech understanding in noise ability.                                      


5. What can you do to improve your ability to understand? Note that I did not say what can you do improve your ability to hear. The key here is UNDERSTANDING SPEECH!                                       


The professional that is uniquely university trained to evaluate hearing  and provide non-medical treatment  of hearing loss is an Audiologist.  Many audiologists now have doctorate degrees (Au.D.) in audiology.  They are recognized by your insurance along with your physician as the qualified provider for administrating audiological examinations (hearing tests). What should you expect when you visit an audiologist?                                      


1. Provide a complete history of your hearing difficulties. Ie: how do you understand speech in quiet, in noise, on TV, over the phone, in auditoriums,  in groups, when you are able to see the person talking vs when you cannot see the person talking. Do people seem to talk to fast?                                      


2. Audiological Examination that includes those beeps as well as understanding speech


3. Complete discussion of your hearing status and what can you do to understand better. Remember the audiologist cannot “make” you understand but they can provide you with the tools to improve your ability to understand.            


Courtesy of



Posted by: Darlene Jalowsky AT 07:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email



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